Today is 27 years since the Challenger explosion.
I was in eighth grade science class. Our teacher turned on the TV so we could all watch the historic liftoff.
Yes, we were the jaded junior high kids, but we all felt a sense of pride as we watched the ignition, watched the rocket as it began its ascent, watched the trail as it aimed for the skies.
Then…just…a simple pop.
Silence on the TV, silence in our classroom, silence in our minds.
Our teacher flipped the television off.
The principal came on the loudspeaker to tell the school what had happened, and to ask for a moment of silence.
As if we hadn’t been having one already.
Breaking the silence was our teacher.
“Every astronaut risks his life to go up into space. And I’d do it in a heartbeat.”
To the brave ones: Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik